Carlson School of Management

SCO Program Requirements

This program is structured to give students a strong methodological and theoretical foundation and an appreciation for the important research questions in SCO. Students graduating from this program will have a broad understanding of the field of operations management, and a deep understanding in their specific area of interest.

Coursework

Students in the CSOM SCO Ph.D. Program take a set of seven required courses (21 credits) during their first two years, and an additional set of elective courses to reach the University of Minnesota 40 course credit minimum requirement.

The seven required SCO Ph.D. Program courses are research and methods seminars taught by SCO Department faculty and are listed below.

Elective courses are self selected by students and may be chosen to enhance methodological skill development (e.g., statistics, mathematics, empirical methods, etc.) or to increase understanding of particular foundational disciplines (e.g., economics, engineering, organizational behavior, cognitive psychology, anthropology, etc).

Course descriptions:

Research methods courses

SCO 8651: Experimental Design

Analysis of variance for one-way, two-way, and multi-way data. Basic concepts of statistical design and analysis of results, etc.

SCO 8652: Regression Analysis

Regression and correlation models, inferences in simple and multiple regression, multiple colinearity, indicator variables, etc.

Topics seminars

SCO 8711: Research in Operations Strategy

Operations performance; competitive advantage; focused factory, product and process innovation; operations strategy implementation.

SCO 8721: Management of Technological Operations

Theories and models used to address problems of managing technological operations and operations in manufacturing & service firms. Technology, productivity analysis, technology evaluation, project selection, and learning.

SCO 8735: Supply Chain Management

Research on forecasting, inventory control, materials requirement planning, just-in-time manufacturing, aggregate planning, scheduling, routing, sequencing and dispatching, etc. in manufacturing and service industries.

SCO 8745: Research in Quality Management

Research literature, methods, and results on quality strategy, economics of quality, statistical process control, vendor management, off-line quality & quality practice.

SCO 8755: Behavioral Operations

Classic behavioral literature in economics and other business disciplines, behavioral problems that arise within operations contexts, testing and analyzing operations phenomenon, whether through an experimental study, empirical methods, or an analytical model.

First Year Student Assessment

SCO Ph.D. students, at the end of the summer following their first year, will deliver, in writing and by oral presentation, a student-led paper on a topic relevant to the interests reflected in the diverse faculty of the SCO Department. This student-led paper may take the form of either a critical literature review; a theory-building paper of a social sciences orientation; an analytical paper of as statistical, operations research, applied economics, or mathematical orientation; or an empirical paper using primary and/or secondary data sources.

SCO Ph.D. students are expected to submit their papers to the SCO Ph.D. Coordinator by a specific date, generally in the third or fourth week in August, and to conduct their “45 plus/minus 15” minutes presentation soon after submitting their papers. Exact dates are determined annually and will be communicated to SCO Ph.D. students in advance.

Each SCO Ph.D. student-led paper and presentation will be evaluated by a team of three SCO Department members, with one member preferably identified by the student in consultation with the specific faculty member and the SCO Ph.D. Coordinator.

Research Paper

SCO PhD students are required to complete a research paper of publishable quality before their thesis proposal defense, which is expected to be held sometime during the third or fourth year in the program.

Written Prelim

In the summer after the second academic year, typically when all coursework has been completed, SCO Ph.D. students sit for the Written Preliminary Examination. For procedures and relevant forms, please consult the section titled “Steps to Degree” in the CSOM Ph.D. in Business Administration Student Handbook.

The Written Preliminary Examination is one of two formal assessments to determine whether or not an individual can proceed to the Ph.D. thesis research stage. The SCO Ph.D. Program Written Preliminary Examination is a comprehensive competency examination designed to assess competencies in each of the seven seminars in the SCO Ph.D. curriculum, as well as competencies in synthesizing across the seven seminars and in the conduct of scholarly research. As part of the SCO Ph.D. Program Written Preliminary Examination, SCO Ph.D. students write answers, in class, to open-ended exam questions over multiple days in a two-week period in mid-to-late July.

In addition, SCO Ph.D. students complete a Take-Home portion that requires the submission, one week after the Take-Home is handed out, of a research proposal. This Take-Home portion of the SCO Ph.D. Program Written Preliminary Examination is generally customized to reflect the scholarly, and potentially Ph.D. thesis-related, interest of the examinee. The Take-Home has a page limit of 20-25 pages.

Oral Prelim

Students typically will complete their oral prelim by the end of fall semester of their third year in the program. Format of this exam will vary depending on the committee chair and adviser.

Proposal Defense

Students are expected to defend their dissertation proposal by the end of their third year in the program.

Quick Links


Supply Chain & Operations

Program Demographics 2013

  • Average Age = 32
  • Average GRE (before August 2011) = 1400
  • Average GRE (after August 2011) = 321
  • Average GMAT (total) = 694

Program Statistics 2013

  • Number of Applicants = 13
  • Admissions =4 (31%)
  • Matriculants = 2 (50%)
  • Total size of Program = 9

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